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Scientific American, September 16, 2015
Scientific American, Nature, and Tor Books launch "flash fiction" competition, Quantum Shorts

Scientific American, Nature, and Tor Books announce the launch of the 2015 Quantum Shorts competition. The contest encourages readers to create quantum-themed “flash fiction”: a short story of fewer than 1000 words that is inspired by quantum physics. Scientific American, the longest continuously published magazine in the U.S., Nature, the world’s leading multidisciplinary science journal, and Tor Books, the leading science fiction and fantasy publisher, are media partners for the contest run by the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. Entries can be submitted now through 11:59:59 PM ET on December 1, 2015 at http://shorts.quantumlah.org.

 “Quantum physics seems to inspire creative minds, so we can’t wait to see what this year’s contest will bring,” says Scientific American Editor in Chief and competition judge Mariette DiChristina.

 A panel of judges will select the winners and runner-ups in two categories: Open and Youth. The public will also vote and decide the People's Choice Prize from entries shortlisted across both categories. Winners will receive a trophy, a cash prize and a one-year digital subscription to ScientificAmerican.com. The winner of the Open category will also be featured on ScientificAmerican.com.

The quantum world offers lots of scope for enthralling characters and mind-blowing plot twists, according to Artur Ekert, director of the Centre for Quantum Technologies and co-inventor of quantum cryptography. “A writer has plenty to play with when science allows things to be in two places - or even two universes - at once,” he says. “The result might be funny, tense or even confusing. But it certainly won’t be boring.” Artur is one of the Open category judges.

Another judge is Colin Sullivan, editor of Futures, Nature’s own science-themed fiction strand. “Science fiction is a powerful and innovative genre,” Colin says. “We are excited to see what kinds of stories quantum physics can inspire.” 

The 2015 Quantum Shorts contest is also supported by scientific partners around the world. The scientific partners are the Centre for Engineered Quantum Systems, an Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence, the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter at Caltech and  the Joint Quantum Institute, a research partnership between University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Submissions to Quantum Shorts 2015 are limited to 1000 words and can be entered into the Quantum Shorts competition via the website at http://shorts.quantumlah.org, which also features a full set of rules and guidelines.

For more information about the organiser and partners, please visit the competition website at http://shorts.quantumlah.org.

About Scientific American

Founded in 1845, Scientific American is the oldest continuously published magazine in the US and the leading authoritative publication for science and technology in the general media. Together with scientificamerican.com and 14 local language editions around the world it reaches more than nine million readers. Other titles include Scientific American Mind and Spektrum der Wissenschaft in Germany. Scientific American is published by Springer Nature, a leading global research, educational and professional publisher, home to an array of respected and trusted brands providing quality content through a range of innovative products and services. Springer Nature was formed in 2015 through the merger of Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan, Macmillan Education and Springer Science+Business Media.

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